One of the most common health concerns in the United States is cardiovascular disease. It’s estimated that one in four deaths annually is caused by heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the U.S. Changes in lifestyle, as well as various treatment options can reduce your risk of succumbing to cardiovascular disease.
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
Heart disease is comprised of multiple conditions and problems, most of them being related to a process called atherosclerosis. This process is the buildup of plaques along the walls of your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow freely. This can eventually lead to heart attack or stroke. Additionally, there are other heart conditions that can get worse if left untreated. These include congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems. In all of these conditions, the health concern is how well your heart works and how efficient it is in moving blood through the body.
When Cardiovascular Disease Needs Treatment
In all cases, early action is the most important step in treating and managing a heart condition. Working together with your doctor, you should get an accurate diagnosis of your particular heart condition. This may require an extensive battery of tests in order to get the right diagnosis.
These tests might include an electrocardiogram, a stress test, a cardiac catheterization, or an MRI. With this information, you and your doctor can begin to develop a treatment plan.
Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease
In general, the symptoms of cardiovascular disease present very similarly. Many report feeling pain or discomfort in their chest. It might feel like indigestion in some cases, while others describe feeling pain in their shoulders, arms, neck and jaw, or their back. This pain is often described as a squeezing feeling, or like a pressure against the chest. Shortness of breath, before or during the chest pain is also very common. Other symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat, a sense of nausea, and light-headedness.
Causes of Cardiovascular Disease
There are three key factors that lead to cardiovascular disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. It’s estimated that about half of all Americans have at least one of these risk factors. Additionally, there are other medical concerns and lifestyle decisions that can increase your risk of heart disease. These include issues like diabetes, being overweight or obese, eating a poor diet, not being physically active, and consuming too much alcohol.
Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease
There are a variety of treatment options to address your cardiovascular issues. Medications like clot busters have proven to have immediate effects. Blood thinners can prevent clots from occurring or from getting larger. Digitalis can help the heart contract harder when the pumping function isn’t working properly. Surgeries are a common treatment method, as they can remove built-up plaque, bypass problem areas, or replace the heart entirely. Pacemakers are commonly used to fix heart rhythm problems.
Cardiovascular Disease and CBD
Currently, there are no obvious links between the use of CBD and treating cardiovascular disease, however, there are several studies that have found it to have a promising effect on other issues that can aggravate heat concerns. A study from 2017 linked CBD to lowering the systolic and diastolic blood pressures of 10 subjects. Other studies have found that CBD can be used to help manage feelings of stress and anxiety. CBD is often used as part of an anti-inflammatory treatment, and has found some success in reducing the inflammation of cells in the myocardium, which is the heart muscle that contracts and relaxes to move blood through the body.